Tobacco Smoke Makes Oral Bacteria More Resilient

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The mouth is home to more than 700 different bacteria species. Tobacco smoke, though, promotes the colonization and fortification of harmful species like Porphyromonas gingivalis. The immune system, then, has a much harder time fighting them off as biofilms begin to develop.

“Once a pathogen establishes itself within a biofilm, it can be difficult to eradicate as biofilms provide a physical barrier against the host immune response,” said David A. Scott, PhD, a researcher at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry.

The chemicals in tobacco smoke stress the oral environment and alter the expression of multiple genes and proteins in the bacteria there, promoting colonization and…

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